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"More Than a Cliché": Experiencing Hybrid Gifting in the Wild

Spence, Jocelyn; Koleva, Boriana; Benford, Steve; Darzentas, Dimitrios; Flintham, Martin; Glover, Kevin; Wagner, Hanne; Gibson, Rebecca; Thorn, Emily


Jocelyn Spence

Boriana Koleva

Steve Benford

Martin Flintham

Kevin Glover

Hanne Wagner

Rebecca Gibson

Emily Thorn


Gifting is socially and economically important. Studies of gifting physical objects have revealed motivations, values, and the tensions between them, while HCI research has revealed weaknesses of digital gifting and explored possibilities of hybrid gifting. We report an ‘in the wild’ study of a hybrid chocolate gift deployed as a commercial product. Interviews reveal the experiences of receivers and givers, as well as the producer's friction points and tangible benefits. We reveal how in hybrid gifts the digital elevates the physical while the physical grounds the digital. We discuss how hybrid gifts bridge the tension between receiver-preference and relationship-signalling motivations, the need to further strengthen the exchange and reveal stages of hybrid gifting, and to manage the privacy of sensitive personal messages. We propose to extend the concept of hybrid wrapping to include a finer-grained interleaving of digital into complex packaging and multi-layered wrappings to create more holistic gifting experiences.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 19, 2023
Publication Date 2023-09
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2023
Journal ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Print ISSN 1073-0516
Electronic ISSN 1557-7325
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 4
Article Number 55
Keywords Giving, Gifting, Hybrid gifting, Consumers, Producers, Relationships, Exchange, Reveal, Safety net.